Everybody is Mock Drafting Terps CB Deonte Banks to Vikings

Photo: University of Maryland

The NFL Draft is only weeks away and mock drafts are being updated across media platforms, now that the combine has come to a completion in Indianapolis. If you scour the internet, you can find just about any player you’d like mocked to any team you prefer.

Kiper, McShay mock Deonte Banks to Vikings

But without argument, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper (both of ESPN) are the two biggest names in NFL Draft media. So it caught my eye, on Tuesday morning, when I noticed that both heavy hitters are mock drafting the same player — Maryland CB Deonte Banks — to the Minnesota Vikings at pick 23 (technically pick 24).

Banks was really impressive in Indianapolis and is getting a lot of buzz after running 4.35 in the 40, leaping 42 inches in the vert and flying 11-foot-4 in the broad jump. Those are all top-three numbers among corners. And while he had just one pick last season, he did break up 10 passes and limit opponents to 4.6 yards per attempt. Banks is an explosive player.

Todd McShay – ESPN

New mock draft, same position the Vikings should target. New defensive coordinator Brian Flores wants to be aggressive, but he needs the cornerbacks to do that, even if free agent Patrick Peterson returns. The 6-foot-2 Banks is coming off a breakout season in which he locked down opposing wideouts — often in man-to-man coverage — and had eight pass breakups and a pick. His tape is impressive, and I’ve heard he’s going to run in the low 4.3-second range in the 40-yard dash at the combine. That’s elite for his size. Andrew Booth Jr., a second-round pick last year, should be in the mix for more snaps, but Banks has No. 1 corner potential.

Mel Kiper – ESPN

The Baltimore, MD native has good height and decent size, but he doesn’t have long arms or great reach. What Deonte does have, is a lot of athleticism. He ran a 4.35 40-yd dash at the combine over the weekend and jumped 42 inches in the vertical jump.

Banks finished the combine with a 98 athleticism score, the best of any CB in attendance. Most have him as a top-5 CB in the class and a talent that could continue to rise up the draft board, as we get closer to April 27.

More draft big wigs follow suit

Two other names that stand out among those who analyze the NFL Draft are Daniel Jeremiah (MoveTheSticks.com, NFL Network) and Dane Brugler (The Athletic). And as it turns out, both of those guys also have the Vikings taking Deonte Banks in the first round. Small world…

The 6-0, 197-pound Banks clocked a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash. He also posted elite results in his 10-yard split (1.49), vertical (42 inches) and broad jump (11-4). He is a physical, cover-and-clobber corner who is ready to step in and see starter-level snaps — exactly what Minnesota needs.

Dane Brugler – The Athletic

Banks has good size, and I think you’ll see his stock rise as the evaluation process unfolds. The cornerback is physical and tough.

Daniel Jeremiah – NFL Network

Mel Kiper liked him early on and, as usual, he has climbed up other mock drafts since. Of course, there are a lot of days left until the NFL Draft actually takes place. And we can’t rule out the possibilities of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pulling off a trade that changes everything. Remember, they do not have a 2nd round pick, after the TJ Hockenson trade.

It’s also worth noting how deep this draft class is at cornerback. According to PFF, this CB class has “depth for days”. If that’s true, would the Vikings be better off trading back and gaining more draft capital for later.

Anything could happen over the next handful of weeks, as we wait for draft day to come. But it’s worth noting that arguably the four biggest names in NFL Draft media have the same player landing with the Minnesota Vikings that Thursday evening in Kansas City.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports

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